22 Dec 2017

Mystery family poisoning - 'No evidence' boar was the cause

4:31 pm on 22 December 2017

There is no evidence a Waikato family who suffered paralysis were poisoned by meat, a medical officer of health says.

Wild boar may have poisoned Putaruru family

Wild boar may have poisoned Putaruru family Photo: RNZ / YouTube

Initial tests on the family who suffered paralysis after eating wild boar meat came back negative for botulism.

Shibu Kochummen, his wife Subi Babu and mother Alekutty Daniel were hospitalised last month from suspected botulism.

Joji Varghese

Joji Varghese Photo: RNZ / Tom Furley

Tests on the Putaruru family found no evidence botulism was to blame, health authorities say. None of the tests from the sampled food or patients, so far, have been positive for botulism, the Waikato District Health board said.

The family was also tested for 1080 poisoning and that was negative too.

Investigations were ongoing, the Medical Officer of Health Richard Vipond said.

"However there has been no evidence of any public health threat.

"There is also no evidence that the family's illness was caused by the pork they consumed," Dr Vipond said.

Mrs Daniel and Mr Kochummen were discharged from hospital last week and Mrs Babu this week.

They are recovering slowly at home and are very tired, family friend Joji Varghese said.

Discharge papers for Mr Kochummen published on YouTube stated the initial tests, in Queensland, were negative.

However, Mr Varghese said there was no indication when those tests were done. He said the results may be out of date because other tests have been carried out.

The family did appear to start recovering after being given medication to treat botulism, he said.

The Ministry for Primary Industries is reminding people to follow good safety practices over summer.

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